Hashing it out: Bipartisan group of senators say potatoes are vegetables, not grains

Potatoes are not a grain, according to a bipartisan group of 14 senators who want the Agriculture and Health and Human Services departments to continue classifying the starchy spud as a vegetable.

Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) penned a letter to the government agencies on Tuesday demanding that potatoes remain a vegetable as the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee prepares to implement new diet guidelines in 2025. 

“Since the inception of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), it has classified potatoes correctly as a vegetable,” they wrote. “Unlike grains, white potatoes are strong contributors of potassium, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and fiber.” 

Experts say that potatoes should not count toward a person’s vegetable intake because they are high in starch carbohydrates, which can cause blood sugar levels to spike. A 2019
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